Computer expert jailed for cash machine fraud

A COMPUTER expert was jailed yesterday for plotting to make phantom withdrawals from bank cash machines using hundreds of fake cards.

Andrew Stone, a computer consultant, dreamt up the plot while serving a three-year prison sentence for a similar offence. The scheme involved using plastic shopping cards and encoding them with bank account details obtained from till receipts.

The plan to withdraw money from hole-in-the-wall cash machines failed when police were tipped off.

Stone, 28, of Fareham, Hampshire, was sentenced to nine months; John Currell, 26, of Sydenham, south-east London, six months; and Clive Hamilton, 34, of Camberley, Surrey, three months. They had all denied conspiracy to steal. Two other men - Mark Pruce, 32, of Chelmsford, and Steven Wheeler, 25, of Sydenham - were acquitted.